Goldbug was a gold-obsessed, technologically-powered thief. In his first appearance, Goldbug, using the false identity of "Jack Smith", hired Luke Cage to prevent a shipment of gold from being stolen by the Goldbug. "Smith" then donned the Goldbug costume, stole the gold, and attempted to pin the crime on Cage. Cage recovered the gold and cleared his name, but Goldbug escaped. Later, the Goldbug was hired by They Who Wield Power to find the city of El Dorado. Goldbug kidnapped the Hulk to power his technology; although the Hulk escaped, they nevertheless arrived in El Dorado. There, one of the members of They Who Wield Power revealed himself to be the Hulk's foe Tyrannus as he killed the other two members of They. Goldbug and the Hulk both turned on Tyrannus, using El Dorado's technology against him. Tyrannus was teleported into space, and the Hulk and Goldbug were teleported to New York, where Goldbug was apprehended by the Heroes for Hire: Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Goldbug was next hired by the Maggia to steal some gold from Empire State University. He did so, not realizing that the gold had been exposed to radiation during experiments at the university. When Spider-Man revealed the gold's radioactivity, the Maggia turned on Goldbug, who fell into the river and disappeared. Goldbug next appeared with a submarine version of his ship, seeking out an office building that had been transformed into solid gold by the Beyonder during Secret Wars II. He was thwarted by Namor the Sub-Mariner, but managed to escape capture.
Goldbug reappeared during the aftermath of the Secret War that had been organized by Nick Fury against Latveria. Goldbug was among the supervillains who had been supplied with enhanced technology by Latverian dictator Lucia Von Bardas and sent to attack the heroes who had been involved in Fury's Secret War. The villains' technologies were then hijacked by von Bardos, supplying her with power, potentially at the cost of the villains' lives, but the assembled heroes defeated von Bardos and apprehended Goldbug and the others.
Later, when the Superhuman Registration Act was announced during the Civil War event, Goldbug wanted to leave the country. He contacted Vienna to make him a new fake identity, but he did not know Vienna was secretly working for the new Heroes for Hire, who later apprehended Goldbug and several other supervillains. When Goldbug and a decoy Plunderer were brought to Captain America's Secret Avengers by Diamondback, the Punisher shot both of them dead, saying that they were "thieves and killers", which led to Cap's decision to kick the vigilante out of the team.
Goldbug uses gold as a weapon and as a motif. He wears a gold-coated exoskeleton which can spray and imprison others with gold dust that hardens around them. He also uses one or more bug-like ships that can fly and travel underwater. He recently obtained a suit of powered armor from the Latverian dictator Lucia Von Bardas.
Wields the Golden Gun, capable of firing gold dust that hardens on contact and immobilizes the victim.
Goldbug bears a strong resemblance to the second version of the superhero character Blue Beetle whose adventures were originally published by Charlton Comics and later by DC Comics. Both wear goggles, have insect-themed codenames and ships, enter their ships via a winch that lowers from the underside, and use a special sidearm.
- 18 appearance(s) of Matthew Gilden (Earth-616)
- 8 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Matthew Gilden (Earth-616)
- 1 minor appearance(s) of Matthew Gilden (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) of Matthew Gilden (Earth-616)
- 2 image(s) of Matthew Gilden (Earth-616)